“ Address: Hall Road / Cromer / Norfolk NR27 9JG / England „
When thinking about Cromer, there being a zoo here doesn't exactly spring to mind. I didn't even know there was one until my friends mentioned it as something to do for the day.
The zoo is situated in the middle of Cromer with very easy transport links. If you are visiting by train, you can either get off in Cromer or at the stop before which in Roughton Road. The zoo is in the middle of both of these so it wouldn't be too far to walk. Parking is free at the zoo if you want to go by car or there is also the option of buses which will take you direct to the zoo. Considering this is quite a strange attraction for a seaside town as small as this, it is so easy to get to and not at all in the middle of nowhere.
Animals to see
Although not a big zoo, Amazona has a decent amount of animals to see. As you walk through the entrance, to your right are wild ducks and birds. As you follow the path around, you will then come to the monkeys. Here, you can see squirrel monkeys and spider monkeys which are both very small. There are no big, impressive monkeys to see but these were extremely cute. It would have been nice to have been able to see more variety though. I thought that these two very different species of animals were a great way to start of a visit to the zoo. There is also another section of monkeys at the back of the zoo.
As well as these though there are also flamingos in the lake which, although are pretty, are quite boring animals. Flamingos don't really do anything other than stand there so looking at these didn't take very long at all. North of this section are the birds of prey which include only two different birds, the Red-legged Seriema and the Striated Caracara. Although these birds can be very vicious, they eat small animals and again, are quite boring to watch. Unless it is feeding time, I can't quite see the attraction of animals like this. Some other birds available to see at this zoo are macaws and parrots.
Unfortunately, the rest of the animals here are about as boring too. The most interesting and fun section by far was the Feline Forest. Here, you can see pumas, jaguars and ocelots. I love big cat sections of zoos and was quite surprised to see one here. The enclosures were great and definitely big enough for the animals that live there. I loved watching these animals prowl around their enclosures, being curious as to what was going on outside. The day we visited wasn't hot so the cats were out to play whereas on warmer days, they tend to sleep or hide in the shade.
The only toilets available at the zoo are right at the very beginning which isn't very well planned. Although this zoo isn't big, it still takes some walking to get back to the toilets. I think that it would be much better had there been a couple of toilets placed nearer the back of the zoo so that they are easier to get to. Children needing the toilet don't want to have to walk all the way back so this would have been a great improvement on what there already is.
Right near the toilets is the gift shop which I really liked. The gift shop, although quite normal for a zoo, was fun. I love looking at tacky gifts that you can buy in these places. This gift shop had a great range of items on sale such as soft toys, postcards and other animal themed gifts. What else was good though was the pricing. These places tend to be overpriced but here, the prices were very reasonable. The zoo is far from being as spectacular as Edinburgh or London so I guess the prices have to reflect this.
While I did enjoy my day here, I have been to far better zoos. For the size, better and more interesting animals could have been given homes here instead of mostly being boring ones that don't move. I don't think that this zoo caters very well for children as there aren't many fun things to do or see. I wouldn't go here again, after being already now, but it isn't bad if you want something to do for a few hours.
Admission & Prices
We are open daily from 10am to 5pm
(Last admissions are at 4pm)
From 1st April until 1st November
Children: £7.90 (4-14 years)
Amazona Zoo - Cromer
This is a new tourist attraction in Cromer, on the North Norfolk Coast which was opened in June 2008.
Four of us went to visit on a boiling hot day (I think the only day of summer this year) in July.
We arrived in Cromer, and followed the brown signs to Amazona, which were pretty clear and obvious to follow until we arrived in the carpark, which was quite big, and pretty empty. We were one of about 20 cars. We walked over a board walk and into the zoo, where we paid £8.50 each to enter. As we had printed off vouchers from the zoos website, we each got 50p off our ticket!
First impressions were good, it is obviously new as the boardwalks are in really good condition, but there was no litter laying around, and the staff were all friendly. We started walking round the zoo, and it was not long before we realised we were going the wrong way round. Now I am a bit of a rebel, so I didn't mind going round the zoo backwards, it saves you from following the masses anyway!!
So we started off with some big cats. Jaguars and Pumas which were very cute, they were just lazing around in the shade. The big cats enclosures have 2 fences surrounding them, one inner fence, and then about a foot apart another fence, I guess to prevent members of the public from climbing over the wooden posts surrounding the enclosure, and putting their hands through the fence and being bitten. The enclosures seemed to be of a reasonable size, and had a wooden tree stump with a couple of branches for them to climb up. I always feel sorry for the animals when I get to a zoo because they seem so sad and bored in there.
There was an emu and some Maras, that look like a cross between a hare and a deer.
There were also some parrots in cages near here, which made us jump by flying at us as we looked in!
An indoor section of the zoo was the reptile area. This was really hot, especially with the weather on the day we looked round, we couldn't spend too much time in here. In the middle of the reptile enclosure is a raised murky pool which contains fish that you would be likely to find in the Amazon river. These fish are pretty big, I cant remember what they were, but the water is very dark and murky to simulate the conditions so you have to look closely. There are some small crocodiles in a pool next to this tank, they were sunbathing when we saw them.
The rest of the zoo is outside. In the middle is a large section where the tapirs and capybaras are found. The Tapir is related to the rhinoceros and has a long snout like an anteater. It shares the enclosure with the capybaras which looked like massive guineapigs to me.
There is also a picnic area near here.
The monkey enclosure is my favourite section, and there were a group of spider monkeys in a big enclosure with lots of rope to swing on and tree stumps and branches to climb. The monkeys seemed fascinated by the young children that were looking at them, and kept coming over to look at them through the fence. The Marmosets were in an indoor enclosure at the time we saw them, eating carrots they looked very cool with their fluffy white ears peeking out at us.
The rest of the park is birds. Flamingos, water birds and parrots.
The park is well laid out, and the paths that take you round have animal footprints and leaves etched in, which look quite cool, but my sister stubbed her toe on a bit of it (it is quite uneven in places) and cut it open. Luckily a kind lady in the toilets gave her a plaster!
We purchased an ice cream from the café and sat looking out over the park from the terrace which was lovely, as it was so warm it did kind of feel like we were in a different country, with the noises the birds and monkeys were making.
I asked a member of staff about expansion, as the park itself seemed a little small, and the majority of the park seemed to be taken up by birds, so I wondered if there were any plans to introduce some new animals, but she didn't seem too sure.
All in all it was a good afternoon out, it didn't take very long to walk round the park, and I found it a little disappointing that it was mostly birds, with only a couple of cats and a group of monkeys as bigger animals. We did enjoy it, but we all said we probably wouldn't bother going back again, particularly as there is quite a wide range of animal parks in Norfolk which are better.
This zoo specialises in South American species.